Caribbean Tourism

St Eustatias

St Eustatias - Morning Glory

In 1884, a Dutch botanist, Willem Suringar, visited Statia, and collected a morning glory in fruit on Signal Hill which was described as new to science. Named Ipomoea sphenophylla (wedge shaped leafed Ipomoea), it was not found by subsequent visiting botanists so the species was put first on the endangered list and then declared extinct. However, in 1994, a...

Excursions

The tourist office has a guide leaflet describing 11 trails. Quill hikes with local guides are available with a voucher system from the tourist office or participating hotels. Hikers should be aware that some of these trails are in bad condition, overgrown and sometimes difficult to follow. STENAPA is in the process of restoring and extending Statia’s trail...

Oranjestad

Oranjestad is the capital of St Eustatias, situated on a cliff overlooking the long beach below and divided between Upper Town and Lower Town. The town used to be defended by Fort Oranje (pronounced Orahn’ya) perched on a rocky bluff. Built in 1636 on the site of a 1629 French fortification, the ruins of the fort have been preserved and large black cannons...

Shopping in St Eustatias

Lots of shops or businesses are in people’s homes with no visible sign of the trade from the outside, but if you ask for help it will be willingly given and you will find the right place. Offices and stores are usually open 0800-1800, although supermarkets stay open until 1900. Mazinga Gift Shop sells local books and a wide range of gifts and duty free...

St Eustatias - Other Sports

There is little to offer on Statia for the sporting enthusiast. At the Community Centre on Rosemary Laan: Tennis (US$5), basketball, softball and volleyball; changing rooms are available. Tennis, volleyball and basketball also at Gene’s Sports Complex, T82711 Table tennis, dominoes, checkers, open Monday-Saturday 1430-2230, Sunday 0800-1800. There is also a...

St Eustatias History

Sint Eustatius, or Statia, 56 km south of St Maarten and 27 km southeast of Saba, was originally settled by Caribs and evidence of their occupation dates back to AD 300. The island was sighted by Columbus on his second voyage but never settled by the Spanish. The Dutch first colonized it in 1636 and built Fort Oranje, but the island changed flag 22 times...

St Eustatias Government & Economy

The traditional economic activities of fishing, farming and trading have been augmented by an oil storage and refueling facility, but the major hope for prosperity, tourism, has not fulfilled its promise. Stay-over visitors fell from 10,000 in 1994 to an average of 8,500 in 1995-97. Hotel capacity fell and the general quality also declined. However, in 1998...

St Eustatias Food & Drink

The Old Gin House, recently renovated, gourmet dining. Good creole and international food at the Golden Era Hotel, service can be slow, order well in advance. The King’s Well, good lobster, steak, German food, Jaeger and Wiener Schnitzels, cocktails, friendly atmosphere, owners like to chat and play cards with guests, lunch is served 1200-1400, dinner from...

St Eustatias Festivals

There are several occasions for celebrations during the year. On Easter Monday there are beach picnics with music and drinking. Former Queen Juliana’s birthday is celebrated on 30 April with cultural events, sports, food and music. Emancipation Day on 1 July has ceremonies and celebrations of the abolition of slavery. The Antillian Games are held in the...

St Eustatias Flora and Fauna

Despite the small size of the island, in the 17th and 18th centuries there were more than 70 plantations, worked intensively by slaves. As a result, most of the original forest has disappeared except in the most inhospitable parts of the volcano. Nevertheless there are 17 different kinds of orchid and 58 species of birds, of which 25 are resident and...

Entertainment

Statians like partying and every weekend something is always going on. Quite often you will hear a ‘road block’ from far away: cars stopped with huge stereos blaring and everyone jumping up in the street. Ask anybody what is going on next weekend, or just wait for the music to start in the evening. The only nightclub is Largo Height Disco by the cable TV...

St Eustatias Diving & Marine Life

Statia’s waters offer a wonderful combination of coral reefs, marine life and historic shipwrecks. Water visibility can be over 30 m and snorkeling is also very good. Diving is excellent, with plenty of corals, sea fans, hydroids and big fish such as groupers and barracudas, as well as rays, turtles and the occasional dolphin but unlike some other Caribbean...

St Eustatias Beaches & Watersports

Oranje Beach Oranje Beach stretches for 1½ km along the coast away from Lower Town. The length and width of the beach varies according to the season and the weather, but being on the Leeward side it is safe for swimming and other watersports. On the Windward side are two fine beaches but there is a strong undertow and they are not considered safe for...

St Eustatias Accommodations

Expect a 7% government tax, 15% service charge on top of quoted rates & sometimes a 5% surcharge. The tourist office has a list of home rentals. The Talk of the Town, one of the longest established hotels, has been leased to the new medical school on Statia and is not seeking other guests for a few years. AL Old Gin House, T82319, F82135, www....

St Eustatias Tourist Information

Local Tourist Offices The St Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation, Fort Oranjestraat, Mon-Fri 0800-1700, T/F82433, www.statiatourism.com Tourism Information booth at the airport, T82620; at the Harbour Office, T82205. The St Eustatius Historical Foundation, Wilhelminaweg 3, PO Box 71, Oranjestad A255, T82288, F82202 c/o Eutel. The Foundation publishes a...